In the “old days,” teaching was a more respected profession and relatively better paid. I decided to do a little historical research about the actual facts of earnings using data from the fabulous source, iPums.org. I measured median annual income in 1965 and 2014, about 50 years apart, for teachers and non-teachers, keeping the sample to full-time, college-educated workers. (Everything is adjusted to 2014 dollars using the consumer price index.)
You’ll see that teacher income has gone up just a smidgen (red bars). In contrast, income in competing jobs has gone up a fair amount. Surely, this is a piece of the explanation of why we can’t get enough great teachers.